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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Goodbye Club I

Live in Santa Fe for a few decades and you get used to saying goodbye. Friends you love leave, restaurants you eat at close, politicians you regularly interview retire or get indicted.
Nonetheless, there are a few constants in my life I never question and one of them, until a week ago, was Club International, my gym, where I have worked out regularly for close to 20 years, anywhere from 3 to 5 times a week (or, for a brief period, 7 days a week, but that was BT, Before Therapy).
Tonight was the last night for Club I and, even though working out was the last thing I felt like doing (I woke up at 1 am this morning feeling like someone was stabbing me in the eye), I knew saying goodbye was an important step in the grieving process, somewhere in between outrage and miserable acceptance.
Like most things I love, Club International's charm was not obvious on the surface. It wasn't fancy or state-of-the-art. Truth be told, if often didn't even seem very clean. But there was core group of people who had been going there for a long time, which created a sense of familiarity, the nice kind that doesn't involve actual relationships or in-depth conversations or e-mail.
Tonight, the final night, the club was mostly deserted, except for the owner, a few staffers and a couple of members who, like me, seemed determined to be the last person out the door.
An old stationary bicycle with a handwritten sold sign is probably not the most likely spot for elegaic musings, but I have a long history of inappropriate sentimentality. I kept my best friend Sonya's old ripped dirty sweatshirt for about 10 years after college because I couldn't bear to throw it away. I had once written the makers of Powerbar to complain bitterly about their discontinuation of the mocha power bar and how they had ruined my daily menu, and possibly my life. They had written me back a strangely understanding note assuring me I would soon get just as used to another flavor. (I had wanted to write them back and argue that my loyalty, once earned, is hard to shake, but I recognized that doing so would probably land my letter in the crazy pile).
I pedaled away, slowly. The only magazine left in the cardio room, once well-stocked with trashy celebrity reading material, was Continental Airline's inflight magazine, so I read that, which depressed me further. When would I ever go scuba diving in Argentina? Or get a lifetime pass to the President's Club in the Continental terminal to enjoy complimentary wireless and cocktails? Riding a bike to nowhere, that seemed more my style. I attributed these dark thoughts to the fact that, for the first time ever, the overhead TV, usually tuned to horrible Nancy Grace screaming about blondes abducted on tropical islands, was off. No distractions here tonight. I guessed the cable had probably been cancelled.
I pondered, as I half-heartedly read a story about the best martini bar in Jackson, Mississippi (how many martini bars can there possibly be in Jackson, Mississippi?), the demise of the gym. A notice taped up last week on every available surface of the club had attributed its sudden closure to the shaky economy. I'd been too overcome by the news to take it in at the time. All I could really recall was something about rising rents or rising gas prices, the costs of repair needed in the building. It all sounded plausible and implausible at the same time. I'd kept expecting, all week, some sort of reprieve, even heard rumors that the racquetball players were planning a last-minute save. I sighed. This was the problem with Magical Thinking, the disappointment that accompanies it. My first thought when I heard that someone won the $200 million Powerball this week was that if it was me, I would save the gym. Even though I hadn't bought a Powerball ticket.
But now, here we were, the final hour. There was no white knight coming to rescue our dilapidated gym. Where was John McCain when you really needed him?
Alone in the cardio room, a bad magazine on my lap, I have to admit I was having a lovely time. It was sort of nice to take a break from thinking about the horrific state of the world and just feel sorry for myself for half an hour. And burn calories at the same time.
Just then, a man I've seen for years, popped in and began making his way toward me with a determined march. He was freshly showered, wearing street clothes. He had always greeted me when I saw him, although I could never be sure if he was saying "Goldberg or Good Afternoon" when he walked by. Now he planted himself right in front of me and as soon as I'd removed my ear buds said: "Julia Goldberg. I never really got to know you, but I just want to say The Santa Fe Reporter is fantastic. Thank you and if I never see you again, good luck. I can tell you're a good person." And he shook my hand as I thanked him and then marched off.
It was kind of hard to feel sorry for myself after this. For one thing, I was giggling too hard. Chances are, I'll see him tomorrow; rumor has it most of the Club I members are going to join the gym down the street. I am, at any rate. Maybe I'll get attached to it. Maybe I won't. Life goes on, I suppose. And, as the gym owner had said to me last week when I called her, "there are worse things."
It's funny in Santa Fe. Even when things we love are gone, we still find a way to keep them alive. Half the people I know give directions using as landmarks restaurants and businesses that have been gone for a decade, even more. I, myself, referred to something as "catty corner to where OJ Sarah's used to be" just last week. Maybe it's a fault, this failure to accept change, to evolve, to roll with the punches. Or maybe there are some things that just deserve to be remembered.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


Saturday Lunch:

The Boy; I need a new calendar.
Me: What do you mean? Like a wall calendar?
Boy: Yeah, so I can write out my work schedule.
Me: Well, they probably have '09 calendars out.
Boy; Yeah, but I need one for now because mine just ran out.
Me: Why did your calendar run out at the end of September?
Boy: It's a Jewish calendar.
Me: Uh huh. Why are you using a Jewish calendar?
Boy: It has different things on it. Like it's the year 1570 or something. And different names for the months.
Me: And this is useful?
Boy: It's different.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Lass gets Sierra Club endorsement

and Block fails to respond. Also, just in from Dave Maass, the Secretary of State is consulting with the AG on Block's campaign finance problems.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

public displays of hysteria.

This made me laugh. A lot. On the treadmill, no less.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Hanging with Duvall

Read about my failed attempts to talk politics with him here.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

KBAC Questions Political Advertising.

Gotta love them for doing this.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Add it to your reading list

If she could make every American read one book before the Nov. 4 election, Arianna Huffington would choose Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
To read more of my interview with Huffington, who comes to Santa Fe next week, click here.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

working out

Tonight I went, as I do many nights, perhaps three, sometimes more, to the gym. I've done this regularly for going on 15 years because I am a creature of habit and just a teensy bit vain. The difference tonight was that I managed to talk the boy into accompanying me. He hasn't gone to a gym in about 20 years. This all came about because I have been just a little bit harpy lately on him about getting in shape. It should be noted that I would not personally want to be in a relationship with me at times like this when I get it into my mind that someone should do something, like start working out. Also, that if things were reversed, and he started harping on me to lose weight or get in shape I would kill him where he stood, so quickly it would be like: Woah, Ninja! Holla!"
Anyway, he actually had a good time and appears to be contemplating getting a gym membership now, which means he will if I have anything to say about it, which I'm sure I will. Some people would call this typical female nagging, but seeing as how we're not allowed to say sexist things anymore, I assume I'm in the clear. And I will give the boy credit, he often translates my nagging as "being inspirational" or "motivating," so, really, it's a win/win. At least for me.
Today I did what I normally do this time of year, at work, which is try to plan out the rest of the year, schedulewise. Obviously things come out that can't be planned, but there are so many special issues/writing contests/elections etc. etc., that if I don't get the calendar together, it's hard to keep it all straight. The downside to my relentless planning is that even though it's only the first week of September, I already feel as if it's Christmas and about to start snowing at any minute. Which it may very well do. I'm actually predicting an early snow season, although, it should be noted, I am not a meteorologist.
As for predictions, be sure to pick up the paper tomorrow for some interesting astrological/political predictions.

Friday, September 05, 2008

08 zozobra RIP

Man, what a night. I'd say more but...I'm too busy trying not to collapse. Our gloom table was a big success—7 hours of non-stop catharsis!
Zozobra: pre-burn

Me, with Poppy Wilder, her friend and the boy, after we dumped the gloom into Zozobra!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Don't Believe Everything Al Green Says

So the blog of light is Al Green, which gives you both a sense of how close the boy and I were to his phenomenal show Saturday night at the Opera, and the limits of the iphone camera. I was attempting to take a photo that would show the cross Green was wearing, which he announced, at the start of the show, had been given to him by the mayor. I was slightly confused by why David Coss would give Al Green a cross (have we run out of keys to the city?). But my confusion was alleviated by fate. Our seats were next to the man who gave Green the cross and who had identified himself to Green as the "underground" mayor of Santa Fe. Details, details. I won't reveal his identity, but suffice it to say he's well-known in the music scene.
The show kicked major major ass. People were going crazy! One girl broke through security (and leaped the moat that protects the stage) to breakdance on stage and was dragged, literally, kicking off of it. Two other women made it up; they left more peacefully. I'm fairly certain another woman threw her underwear on stage and some man was dragged out by security, although I'm not totally sure what that was about. I swear, if I have an iota of Al Green's energy in 30 years I will be happy...actually, if I had it right now I'd be pretty jazzed.
As per usual, Green threw roses to the ladies throughout the show. I did not catch one. However, he also threw his tie and that was caught by the man to my left, known on this blog as "the boy." Yes, my boyfriend now owns Al Green's tie and I have the feeling I will be seeing it at all events that require a tie. Not just cause it's way cool, but also because it's a clip-on and neither the boy nor I seem to know how to tie a tie (discovered last year when we were running late to a wedding and that was the only thing left to do; not sure there has been a lower point than me, frantically looking for a tie-tying diagram on my old Sidekick while the boy struggled in the mirror; in the end, he went tieless).